Rays acquire reliever Burke Badenhop from Marlins

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Now this is more like what we’re used to seeing from the Marlins: cutting corners by giving away a perfectly useful arbitration-eligible player.

The Rays on Monday picked up right-hander Burke Badenhop from Miami for minor league catcher Jake Jefferies.

It’s a nice get for Tamps Bay. Badenhop’s ERA has climbed slightly, going from 3.75 in 72 innings in 2009 to 3.99 in 67 2/3 innings to 4.10 in 63 2/3 innings last season. However, he finished with the best peripherals of his career in 2011, ending the year with a 51/24 K/BB ratio and just one homer allowed.

Badenhop is a strong groundball pitcher with an 87-91 mph sinker, a quality slider and a below average changeup. It’s not a package that makes him an elite reliever, but as the fourth right-hander in a pen and a guy who can go two innings at a time whenever necessary, he has value. He’s due about $1.4 million in arbitration, and he’ll be eligible for free agency after 2014.

In return for Badenhop, the Marlins receive the 24-year-old Jefferies, a 2008 third-round pick who has failed to develop offensively. He’s come in at .215/.290/275 and .235/.281/.333 in his two years in high-A ball, so he’s a big long shot to ever reach the majors.

Badenhop had been the last Marlin left from the deal that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit in Dec. 2007. The Marlins also acquired Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Dallas Trahern, Eulogio De La Cruz and Mike Rabelo in the trade.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.